Analysis of Home in the Grapes of Wrath

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“You can leave home all you want, but home will never leave you.” Sonsyrea Tate. Tate’s quote has distinct meaning depending on the individual who analyzes it. Many believe this quote to mean that a home is not a single place or object, but a concept or state of mind, which you have when you are around your family or loved ones. In the book The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck this idea of “home is where the heart is,” is shown throughout the book. One of the main characters, Ma, shows with great strength the concept of home is not a dwelling or place where you live, but a state of mind. Ma, throughout the course of the book understood that a home is not a place, but where you are with your family. During the course of the book Ma takes…show more content…
She was also upset about the family breaking apart when Noah, and Connie left on their own. She believed a family must stay together even in tough times. She did not care where they would live, as long as wherever they were the family would remain together, because she understood the concept of a home being where your loved ones are. In one of the final chapters of the book Ruthie out of anger tell about how Tom killed a man. So Ma out of fear goes to meet Tom, there they discus what Tom should do. Although Ma is worried about Tom and his safety where he goes, Tom makes a speech about where he would be. One part being “An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build- why, I’ll be there.” (Steinbeck, 537) Tom makes mention of a house as a single location; while Ma is not concerned with that, as she is more concerned about Tom’s safety saying how is she going to know if he is hurt or killed. This can be taken as even though her fear of breaking the family apart, she is worried whether Tom can be safe. Showing how even though a person can leave a “home.” They still take part of the home a carry it with them for the rest of their life. Homes are simply not places or a possession, but the love of the family you surround yourself with. Ma is one of the only characters in the book that truly realizes this. Some characters, such as Rose of Sharon, are focused on the possessions in life and only see home as a location.
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